This book is about love, about how we fall in love and why we fall in love, and about how much we suffer if unable to love or be loved. The need to love and be loved can be read as the prototype of every human need and every relationship between human beings. To be loved is wishing to be seen, known, recognised for what we are in our deepest and most hidden inner self, in our wildest desires to live and be free. It is a need for knowledge, gratefulness and recognition. Literature, cinema and our very experience of life tell us about it. By listening to love, can psychoanalysis add anything further and new to what has already been said by culture, art and by our life experiences? In psychoanalysis, the events of love can be understood by going back to the most primitive forms of human relationships, that is, to the earliest childhood experiences. However, they can also be looked at as an integral part of human vicissitudes, and therefore as an essential element of adulthood, caught between passion and bonds.
From a strictly theoretical viewpoint, we might say that the passion of love stems and develops from an intermediate area existing between the libidinal and narcissistic structures of the Self, between drives and projective identifications. However, the terrible and unfathomable nature of passions, that complex tangle of sexual desire, fusional need, abandonment anxiety, fear of solitude, despair and unbearable unhappiness, the continuous swinging between delusions and disappointments, escapes a definition that is too narrow. According to different sexual orientations and at different ages, from childhood to adulthood, passion and bonds constitute the innermost essence of human nature.